IRRC No. 890

Attacks on medical missions: overview of a polymorphous reality: the case of Médecins Sans Frontières

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The aim of this article is to carry out a preliminary analysis of issues relating to the types of violence that are directed against humanitarian medical missions. Starting from the observation that violence can cause some degree of disruption for a medical organisation such as Médecins Sans Frontières, despite its wide experience which has brought it much wisdom and generated numerous and sporadic responses to such events, the article offers a more subtle analysis of terms and of situations of violence so as to contribute to the establishment of a research project and, in a second phase, to an awareness-raising campaign focusing on these complex phenomena. Keywords: violence, attacks, medical care, criminality, war, medicine.

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